In this series I give insights into my WordPress theme business and report on ideas, plans, challenges and activities of the last month. In WP Business Ep. 02 for April 2018 I will tell you about necessary updates for the GDPR, my first own block for the upcoming Gutenberg Editor and the WordCamp Retreat in Soltau.
Theme and plugin updates for the GDPR
The new European General Data Protection Regulation will come into force in a few weeks and is currently the dominant topic in the entire industry.
Personally, I think the protection of personal data is important, but to be honest I am also happy when I have implemented all the new rules and regulations for my websites and can return to nicer topics than the GDPR as soon as possible 🙂
At the beginning of April I was busy updating all of my themes and plugins for the GDPR. With 26 themes, 26 add-ons and a handful of plugins, a total of 53 updates were necessary. That's a lot and it kept me busy for a few days.
Like many other theme developers, I used the Google Fonts API for fonts. When loading fonts from the Google servers, however, the IP addresses of the visitors are transmitted, which represent personal data according to current legislation.
It is currently unclear whether and for how long Google will store these IP addresses. In any case, you are on the safe side if the fonts of the theme are integrated locally instead of being loaded externally by Google.
With the updates, this is now guaranteed for the users of my themes.
Custom theme for themekiller.me
In addition, the blog finally got its own custom theme in April.
When I started Theme Killer 1.5 years ago, I wasn't sure whether I would keep writing articles regularly or whether the blog would fizzle out after a few weeks.
Because of this, I didn't want to invest a lot of time in tech and focus on blogging. The website was therefore ready in one day and was based on my Napoli theme, which is actually intended for food blogs. I only changed the colors.
Theme Killer practically went online with the idea of the lean startup method as a minimum viable product. No extra logo, no extra theme - just focus on the first articles.
Over time, however, I've made gradual changes and new plugins, a child theme, many overwritten template files, a completely new blog layout and a lot of custom CSS have been added.
The result was a confusing child theme, which had overwritten pretty much all the components of the parent theme. In the end, the time had simply come to design an independent theme. The design has remained almost the same, but the code in the background is now much leaner and tidier.
You are currently looking at the new custom theme while reading this post 😉
My first Gutenberg block
In the last few weeks I have continued to experiment with Gutenberg and created my first, somewhat more complex block for the new editor. The idea was an Image & Text block, because with it, all essential concepts and many components of Gutenberg could be tried out very practically, from text input and image upload to block and inspector controls.
Here is a short screencast of the finished block:
The block will become part of a plugin with a number of different layout blocks, which is why I haven't published the code yet. More on this in the next episodes.
WordCamp Retreat in Soltau
At the beginning of May I was at the WordCamp Retreat in Soltau . Strictly speaking, this section does not belong in April and only in my report for next month. Nevertheless, I would like to tell you about it right away, because the memories are still fresh now.
A normal WordCamp usually consists of two days with lectures and workshops on WordPress, a Contributor Day and an after party. Soltau, on the other hand, was the world's first WordCamp in retreat format and therefore completely different.
Instead of being separately in one city, this time the community came together at one location. Accommodation, eating, leisure activities and the actual WordCamp took place in one place - the Hotel Park Soltau . That left a lot of time for activities that had nothing to do with WordPress. A concept that excited every participant, myself included.
The hotel with two blocks of flats for the rooms and the numerous conference rooms was fantastic for the event, the food was fantastic, the weather was great.
I've been using WordPress for a good 10 years now and have had my theme shop since 2010, but I would still call myself a newcomer to the community. Soltau was actually only my third WordCamp overall. Little compared to many others.
Also because of the great new format, Soltau was the WordCamp where I had the most and most in-depth conversations so far. And not just through WordPress. Thanks to the great Rubik's Cube workshops, I now also know how to solve a magic cube 🙂
Besides me, all the other WordCamp visitors rave about, among others, in these recaps:
- Matthias Kittsteiner
- Detlef Heese
- Stefan Kremer
- Raid boxes
- Gino Cremer
- Press shop (podcast)
- WP Sofa (Podcast)
- Thorsten Frommen (English)
- Remkus de Vries (English)
I very much hope that it will not be the last WordCamp retreat and that there will be a repetition, gladly again in Soltau. Before that I will definitely be at the WordCamp Würzburg in September. See you 🙂